Changing an American Statistic
It is quite possibly one of America’s most disgraceful statistics. On any single day, an average of 22 Veterans who served commit suicide. These Veterans are coming back to their own country and facing an entirely new battle- often times seemingly with little to no support, or nowhere to turn.
The experiences that the Veterans experience some of the most traumatic events one could imagine. Just some of the things impacting Veterans are “Panic attacks, insomnia, sleeplessness, restlessness,” said army veteran Dan Jabs.
This poses an enormous challenge to the Veterans returning, making integration into the daily lives they were accustomed to in the past quite difficult. “You’re always tense,” said Navy veteran Samantha Michelle Reeves. When someone is always tense it poses great risk to their overall health and wellbeing.
Many of the Veterans are quite stoic, and not always realizing that their situation is something that is being experienced by other Veterans as well. This is changing due to the invention of an online behavioral health program founded by former Navy F-18 pilot, Richard Gengler, called Vets Prevail.
“There is a lot of power in a model like this,” said Gengler.
The free and anonymous platform allows Veterans to go on and chat with other peers in a stigma-free way, allowing them to receive some level of support. For those who want to receive even more care, there are robust clinically proven programs that were developed in collaboration with the National Science Foundation.
By giving back to the next cohort of people battling issues provides hope for both sides. For those who have now reached the other side, such as Jabs, he says that it helps because he recognizes some of the issues and notes that “you can get through this.”
For more information on this free mental health program, visit vetsprevail.org or for the general civilian version of the program click here
Here is the recent news report video